Island Getaway Without the Beach: A Review of The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca in Spain
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To The Point
The St. Regis Mardavall is an idyllic retreat, away from Mallorca’s tourist hordes. Pros: Stunning hotel grounds, fresh rooms, great food and free breakfast for all guests. Cons: Virtually no beach, and the main pool wasn’t heated.
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Mallorca has a reputation for being a rowdy party destination — especially among the Brits and Germans — but it offers a lot more to do besides drinking. This picturesque Balearic Island is rich in culture and history. It’s also home to a somewhat recently renovated St. Regis property that I’ve had my eye on for quite some time: The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort.
This spring presented the perfect opportunity for me to check it out. As it was Mallorca’s shoulder season, rooms rates were low, daytime temperatures were pleasant, and the island wasn’t inundated with partygoers yet.
The St. Regis Mardavall is one of Marriott’s new Category 8 properties, meaning that a free night will cost you 85,000 Marriott points (worth $680, based on TPG’s valuations) until peak and off-peak pricing is introduced later this year, where a night will cost anywhere from 70,000 points in the low season to 100,000 in the peak season.
Since my stay was during the low season, I knew that I’d likely be better off with a cash rate. Standard “Grand Deluxe” rooms hovered around 220 euros ($250) per night, but they’ll go all the way up to 640 euros ($720) to 1,230 euros ($1,380) per night in the summer. All rates at this hotel include free breakfast, but when I stayed, there was a special offer that also provided a 50-euro ($55) daily resort credit and a one-category room upgrade at time of booking.
When booking paid stays, be sure to use a credit card that rewards you with extra points for hotel spend, like the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card, which offers 10x miles on hotel stays booked and paid for through Hotels.com/Venture or the Citi Prestige Card, which earns 3 Citi ThankYou points per dollar spent on hotel purchases and offers the fourth night free on hotel stays (this will be limited to twice per calendar year starting in September). If you stay at Marriott properties frequently, it could also make sense to pick up one of Marriott’s cobranded cards, which earn 6 points per dollar spent on Marriott purchases and all come with automatic Marriott Bonvoy elite status. Regardless of which card you go with, you may be able to further maximize your rewards and earn airline miles or cash back by booking through an online shopping portal.
The St. Regis Mardavall is tucked away on the west of the island, between the Tramuntana mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. It’s about a 20-minute drive from Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI) and the center of Palma. Puerto Portals harbor and Portal Nous beach are less than 10 minutes away by car. This property is a lot more centrally located than the Park Hyatt Mallorca.
There isn’t much within walking distance of the hotel, so I recommend renting a car if you want to explore the area (there are no Ubers on the island). Complimentary self-parking was available on site, but there weren’t many spots, so you’ll most likely end up having to pay for a valet if you visit in the summer.
When I got to the hotel, there were no bellmen or doormen outside to help me with my bags. However, once inside the door, I was promptly welcomed by my incredibly friendly St. Regis butler, Henry.
He asked if I’d rather check in sitting in the lobby or on the patio with a view of the sea. Of course, I went with the latter.
My travel companion and I were offered complimentary welcome drinks of our choice, which were accompanied by olives and other light snacks. We were recommended the Bloody Mary and mixed fruit juice, so that’s what we ordered. Every St. Regis property around the world has its own signature Bloody Mary. The one here was called the Bloody Mardavall Pepper Snapper and was crafted with Hendrick’s gin, padrón peppers and local sea salt.
The check-in process was a welcome alternative to standing at a check-in counter, but there were some hiccups. Firstly, the agent who checked me in was unaware of the daily resort credit included with my booking. Then, after confirming that I had the credit, I was mistakenly told that the credit could just be used for food and beverages, when it really covered all types of incidentals, including spa treatments. Unfortunately, miscommunication with the front-desk agents ended up being a recurring theme throughout my stay, though that wasn’t an issue with any of the other staff members.
From the outside, The St. Regis Mardavall looked like a large resort, but it only had 125 rooms and suites total, spread across four interconnecting buildings. My booking included that free upgrade, but the only difference between my room and a base-level room was that it had a distant sea view.
There was a short entry hall with the bathroom to the right and plenty of closet space to the left.
The bathroom looked dated compared to the rest of the room, mostly due to its uninspiring stonework. It had two sinks, one on either side of the room, as well as a tub in the middle. The shower had both an overhead rainfall shower head and a handheld one, and they both passed the TPG shower test.
As is the standard at St. Regis properties, the bath products were by Remède. Other amenities such as a dental kit, shaving kit and sewing kit were also offered.
The room itself had a modern look that was warm and welcoming. At 516 square feet, it felt decently spacious, and even more so with the balcony door open.
Unlike in the US, where two full beds are the norm for double rooms, in Europe, double rooms usually have two twin beds, which are slightly narrower than twins in the US. Rollaway beds are not available for this room type, and there’s no sofa bed, so you really can’t fit more than two people.
Switches to control the lights and drapes were clearly labeled and located beside each of the beds. There were also built-in USB ports but no actual power outlets, which are a necessity in today’s day and age. Given the recent renovation, I was also surprised to see that the bedside iPhone dock still featured the first-generation iPhone charging point.
Across from the two beds was a cabinet containing the minibar and a TV mounted right above.
The minibar was stocked with the standard offerings, including snacks, liquor, beer, soda, juice and water. There was a Nespresso machine with coffee pods, though fresh coffee and tea could also be ordered at no charge through the butler.
Two complimentary water bottles were provided daily during housekeeping and turndown service. There was also a welcome fruit plate.
There was a simple two-person table that served as a comfortable place to sit and get work done. There were power outlets nearby, but as with the rest of the outlets in the room, they were not universal.
The enclosed balcony was a good size and comfortably furnished, with a chaise lounge, chair, table and blanket. I was glad that I didn’t pay extra for my upgrade to a sea-view room, as I didn’t find the views to be too impressive.
Food and Beverage
The St. Regis Mardavall has three restaurants on site, one of which has one Michelin star, and one bar, though only one restaurant was open during my stay, because I was there during the low season.
The restaurant that was open, Aqua, was the casual option and open all day. It offered plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.
I started my first two mornings in Aqua, since that’s where the complimentary breakfast buffet was. There was a selection of cold items like various types of muesli, cheeses and fruit, as well as hot items like eggs, sausages and vegetables. Made-to-order eggs were also available. The food was all high-quality, fresh and tasty.
All drinks, including DIY mimosas, were included with breakfast.
Since I had the daily resort credit, I also ate dinner there twice during my stay. The sea bass and salt-baked fish I ordered were among the best I’d ever had. The staff here were also fantastic, and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that a 10% discount was applied to my bill just for being a Marriott Bonvoy member.
Es Vent, the lobby bar, was where the resort hosted its nightly Champagne sabering — a tradition at each and every St. Regis property.
On my final morning, I decided to have breakfast via room service, since I had an early departure. Plus, it only cost a flat 7 euros ($8), regardless of what was ordered. I was disappointed to find out that room service breakfast was only available during the same hours as the breakfast buffet (7am to 11am), but my friendly waiter from dinner at Aqua the night before arranged for me to get it at 6:45am.
While I don’t recommend doing this, I could have certainly kept myself entertained at The St. Regis Mardavall without leaving the property.
The centerpiece of the property was the three-tiered cascade infinity pool. It wasn’t heated, so despite the sunny skies, the temperature of the water was on the chilly side, but I still used it each day of my stay. Although it was difficult to track down a pool attendant, poolside dining was available, despite the poolside restaurant being closed.
There were two more pools by the kids club, named Explorers Club, but it wasn’t open during my off-season stay.
As for other kid-friendly amenities, there was a game room by the lobby, complete with pool table, board games and various video-game consoles.
There was an Arabella spa onsite, which featured a heated indoor and outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, multiple saunas, jet shower, ice cave and, the pièce de résistance, an Egyptian brine bath. The facilities were open to all guests, but since I had the daily resort credit, I treated myself to a massage. I went with the cheapest and shortest one on the menu, a 25-minute back massage for 65 euros (about $75), and it was phenomenal.
Right next to the spa was a small but well-equipped gym, which was stocked with water bottles and towels.
Despite being right by the water, the resort didn’t officially have its own beach, nor did it advertise one. There was a trail guests could follow to a small public beach area, which was better than nothing, but it certainly didn’t live up to white-sand beaches like Calo des Moro, Cala Mesquida or the nearby Cala Portals Nous.
As previously mentioned, I had access to the hotel’s signature butler service, which meant that I could order complimentary coffee or tea in the morning or press two pieces of clothing per person per day. My requests for items like extra toothpaste made over the phone were promptly handled, but those made through the Marriott app went unanswered (#Bonvoyed).
Wi-Fi at the hotel was complimentary for all guests and worked well, though it didn’t reach the main pool.
The St. Regis Mardavall is a truly elegant property that seemed worlds away from the island’s bustling party scene. The rooms had a fresh yet classy look, and the grounds were impeccably maintained, covered with beautiful landscaping. Aside from my not-so-great experiences with the front-desk agents, the service I received from the rest of the staff was top-notch. The only downside to the resort — which could be a big deal for summer stays — was that it didn’t really have a beach, and there was no shuttle to one either. As a point of comparison, the Park Hyatt on the other side of the island doesn’t have an on-site beach either, but it does offer a shuttle to one.
While the room rates in the summer seem a bit high, I would certainly stay here again during the low season, or if I have a large stash of Marriott points to spare. The addition of free breakfast for all guests definitely helped provide extra value for my stay.
All photos by the author.
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